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How many hours of photography coverage does your wedding need?

Aug 1, 2019

How many hours of photography coverage does your wedding need? Find out!

Weddings are always an all-day experience packed with so many wonderful things. From the time you wake up to the time you close your eyes at night, every moment is special. But how many hours of photography coverage does your wedding need?? That’s the question.

Typical wedding photography coverage is about 8 hours but every wedding is unique and you may need more or less coverage depending on your needs. 

To discover how many hours are right for your wedding, you can do one of two things: (1) Take the Photography Coverage Calculator Quiz or (2) Keep Reading!


Five Hours of Coverage

Five Hours of coverage is a perfect fit for:  


This is is great for extremely intimate and non-traditional weddings that have very few of the typical wedding day formalities but still want the story of your day told well.

Intimate Weddings:

Weddings that have 50 people or less and very few wedding day formalities won’t need as much coverage as a normal wedding day. However, if your intimate wedding has a bridal party, toasts, or dancing it is highly likely that you need more coverage than five hours.

How many hours of photography coverage does your wedding need? Find out!

Eight Hours of Coverage

This is the perfect fit for:

Wedding days that are all at one venue:

Wedding days where the bride gets ready at the venue and takes all of the portraits there too are a perfect fit for 8 hours of coverage. However, even if your whole day is in one place you may need to add just one more extra hour of coverage if your wedding day has more than three toasts, you want to drive somewhere special for portraits or want a first look with your dad.

Ten to Twelve Hours of Coverage

This many hours of coverage may seem a little bit overboard. But it is actually necessary for a handful of different types of weddings:

The wedding with multiple locations: 

By multiple locations I mean one or more of the following, your ceremony and reception are at different venues, you aren’t getting ready at the venue, or you want portraits at a separate location. Weddings with multiple locations need this much coverage because driving from one place to another takes way more time than you think. For instance, if your ceremony venue is a 15-minute drive from your reception, it’s not just 15 minutes. You have to allow time for traffic, for finding parking, for getting in and out of the car, for getting a ride for everyone, and of course buffer time! 

The Wedding with a cool exit or surprise: 

If you have an epic sparkler exit or fireworks to end the night this is something that you will for sure want your photographer to document! But eight hours is not enough coverage for your photographer to be able to document the getting ready process as well as stay to the end. So depending on how long you want to party into the night, you will need between 10 and 12 hours of coverage.

How many hours of photography coverage does your wedding need? Find out!


The slow-paced Wedding : 

If it is really important to you for your wedding day to not feel rushed and to have quality time with your friends and family then you will want more coverage. When you only have 8 hours of photography coverage as well as some or all of the traditional elements, they should be documented and also must be scheduled within the hours that your photographer is there. Because of this you might not be able to spread them out throughout your reception and will need have to have one event right after the next. Sometimes when there is only eight hours of coverage, quality time with loved ones is missed because we have to go from one group photo session or wedding tradition to the next. 

The wedding with a tea ceremony:

If a tea ceremony is included in your wedding day you will definitely need at least ten hours. Though if you are changing dresses and doing door games you might want more than 10 hours so that your day doesn’t feel rushed and you can really enjoy this lovely tradition.

The Destination Wedding: 

Destination weddings are usually on the smaller side and have fewer traditions than your typical wedding, but I highly recommend at least 10 hours of coverage. Often at destination weddings, you lodge and spend a lot of your extra time with your guests! And during this time you are creating extra special memories that you will want to be documented. I even suggest you consider having your photographer there for multiple days. Not only have you intentionally chosen an extra beautiful and meaningful location but in turn, you’ve made your wedding experience multiple days, and you will want to remember it that way! 


How many hours of photography coverage does your wedding need? Find out!


I hope this post helped you know how many hours of coverage your wedding day needs! If you still aren’t sure how many hours of photography coverage your wedding needs, take the wedding photography coverage calculator quiz


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